(STUDY FINDS) – Tens of millions of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa believe God controls their economic decisions. However, a majority have languished in extreme poverty and unproductiveness for decades, according to a new study.

University of Copenhagen researchers say over one-quarter (26%) of Ethiopia’s 90 million rural farmers believe that God is an omniscient power who determines all of their business successes or failures. The study authors say unproductive agriculture is a major factor behind hunger and poverty problems in developing countries such as Ethiopia. While economists largely blame the rural population (over 80%) for failing to embrace technology, this latest research suggests the problem may be a much higher power: faith in God.

Both religious and non-religious farmer participants showed they are willing to take business risks or adapt to new crops and technology. However, this study reveals that the more religious the farmer, the more likely they are to make damning economic choices.

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